An Undercurrent Of Fear In Geylang?

Geylang (Yálóng) 芽笼 - Vice on the rise?


Update 11 Jul 2016: The changing face of vice in Geylang
A street walker and her customer seen entering a house that offers transit hourly rates along Lorong 18 Geylang

Online vice is on the rise & the authorities have changed the laws to combat it.

Changes to the Women's Charter kicked in on Jul 1 and they include a new section, 146A, which targets those who operate or maintain websites which offer sexual services or allow prostitutes to advertise.

Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to 5 years, or both.

read more

3-day police raid targets Geylang alleys, entertainment outlets
The men were arrested in connection with illegal public gaming, and for being suspected members of unlawful societies, the police said in a statement

A series of police raids conducted over 3 days targeting coffeeshops, entertainment outlets and back alleys at Geylang have resulted in the arrest of 24 men aged between 18 & 68.

The joint raids started on Fri (Feb 26) and ended on Sun morning, involving agencies like the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department, and the Central Narcotics Bureau.

The men were arrested in connection with illegal public gaming, and for being suspected members of unlawful societies, the police said in a statement.

read more

Geylang death: Relative outraged as passers-by gawk, snap photos of body

A 52-yr-old coffee-shop helper, known as Niu-ge, was found dead after a fight in Lorong 23 Geylang yesterday (Jul 9) at 8:00am.

5 hours later, his bloodied corpse, which had visible injuries to the face, was lying on the road and his head was resting on the kerb.

According to a press statement by the police on Sunday (Jul 10), the case has been classified as murder and police have traced the whereabouts of 54-yr-old Yeo Ai Leng to assist with investigations. The police have also clarified that he is not a suspect in the case.

read more

Table at Geylang alley attracts gamblers daily, in broad daylight
CROWD: Armed with cash, gamblers surround a table set up in a Geylang alley from as early as 5am

Just before the break of dawn, a group of men sets up a table.

Within minutes, a small crowd gathers, clutching stacks of money, ready to place their bets.

For the past month or so, an illegal 2m-long gambling table has been set up every morning at the alley between Geylang Lorong 15 and 17.

read more

56 arrested for vice, other offences in Geylang in overnight blitz

An overnight joint operation in Geylang that ended this morning resulted in the arrests of 56 people, the police said in a statement today.

The suspects, of whom 21 are men and 35, women, are aged between 18 and 73 years old.

They are accused of various crimes including vice, drug-related and immigration offences,  as well as the peddling of illegal sexual enhancement products.

read more

87 arrested for vice, drink driving in Geylang police operation
An early morning traffic operation on New Year’s Day this year nabbed six people for serious traffic violations such as dangerous driving and drink driving

87 people were arrested in a joint operation conducted by the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

During the operation on Feb 6, officers carried out a series of targeted raids and proactive checks at various locations including shophouses, coffee shops and back-alleys of Geylang. Road blocks were also set up in the vicinity.

78 women, aged between 17 and 52, were arrested for vice-related activities, while 25 motorists were stopped and tested for alcohol consumption at the road-block points.

read more

No more new homes in Geylang red-light area, to minimise ‘friction’
Businesses such as budget hotels populate the Geylang area. Photo: Wee Teck Hian

The heart of Singapore’s red-light district in Geylang is set to be rezoned such that there will be no further residential developments in the area, as residents there become increasingly frustrated by the noise, fights and traffic problems resulting from living in proximity to the colourful activities in the neighbourhood.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has proposed rezoning Lorongs 4 to 22 in Geylang from a “Residential/Institution” area — with “institutions” referring to community ones such as association premises and community clubs — to a “Commercial / Institution” area.

Existing housing developments and new residential projects that have already received the green light will not be affected by the proposed change.

read more

Geylang Goes Up Market
Look, mom, there's a brothel next to our block!

Those moving into their new flat at Sengkang West may think they have it bad because they will be sharing space with a columbarium. Spare a thought for those at the even numbered Lorongs of Geylang, especially the area URA has decided to rezone from "Residential/Institution" to "Commercial / Institution."

The emphasis on commercial over residential considerations is an obvious choice for the Urban Development Authority (URA). Confucius once said "微臣從沒見過 如斯好德如好色的人", which can be loosely translated as "never has the virtuous take precedence over vice". The infamous "Four Floors of Whores" at Orchard Road has always done a roaring trade, whatever the state of the economy. Perhaps something more posh sounding is on the drawing board for the Designated Red Area (RDA) Geylang district, something along the lines of "Skyscraper of Sluts" or "Prostitutes@Pinnacle?"

The outcome is inevitable - URA has weighed in with the overseas funeral parlour developer - but those affected will no doubt still go over the fine print in their signed contracts. Proud owners of residential developments under construction (#1Suites, Treasure@G20, Treasure@G6) and recently completed (Royce Residences, Central Imperial) may not have that much to lose. Sleeping jowl to jowl next to a member of the oldest profession of the world is definitely more desirable than proximity to an urn of ashes.

read more

People in Geylang speak of undercurrent of fear

Streetwalkers standing along the junction of Geylang Road and Geylang Lorong 22 last Thursday. Donning skimpy outfits, they emerge at dusk like clockwork and flirt with men, both foreign and local. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE

At dusk, like clockwork, streetwalkers in skimpy outfits emerge from alleyways. They flirt with men, both foreign and local, while being watched by minders on the alert for the police.

Off-corner massage parlours and hotels with hourly rates do a roaring trade. Nearby, peddlers sell sex drugs with names such as Super Magic and Tiger's Prestigious Life, while others deal in contraband cigarettes.

This is Geylang, Singapore's notorious red-light district and another foreign worker hot spot now in the spotlight after Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee said last week that the area was a bigger concern than Little India, where last December's riot took place.

The fear is beyond Geylang

An undercurrent of fear in Geylang? I think they mean the fear at the periphery and beyond Geylang. If you must insist that there is fear in Geylang then I will concede that it is the men in blue that are afraid. It may be the only place in our small island where police officers risk getting a beating anytime they perform their duties.

So I wish the ST would be more to the point. We don't even need to visit Geylang to figure this out. But to suggest that the policemen are afraid in Geylang is terrible for public confidence, and better left unsaid and silently imputed by readers.

Now we have every reason to be angry why the Minister for Home Affairs allow the situation to deteriorate to such a sorry state. Wong Kan Seng and Ho Peng Kee have more to answer than the escape of Mas Selamat. Meanwhile what is Teo Chee Hean doing about this, and why didn't Jayakumar do something when he was the senior minister in charge of security? If they could brush off a Sylvia Lim questions on this subject, it is really telling us we need to install more Sylvia Lims in Parliament to keep the government more honest and responsible.

MP sees red over red tape at red-light district

Hundreds of hours of meetings with various agencies to deal with the problems of the red-light district.

Despite this, there is still no “concrete action plan” to deal with the situation in Geylang, wrote Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, Member of Parliament (MP) for Marine Parade GRC, in a lengthy post made on her personal Facebook page yesterday.

The strongly worded post, which is only visible to her friends’ list and still online as of 7pm yesterday, highlights “for the first time” her full efforts to clean up the area.

Geylang was never this 'lawless'
When showed a video clip taken in Geylang last Wednesday, the retired senior police officer was shocked

John, who asked not to be named, initially thought he was being shown a video clip taken in a neighbouring country.

Scores of prostitutes could be seen loitering the streets while men haggled with pimps.

“It can’t be,” John said yesterday. “Are you sure this is Geylang?

Geylang residents gather to stamp out neighbourhood sleaze
GEYLANG residents are moving to reclaim the night

Fed-up with prostitutes spilling over from the traditional red-light area and plying their trade in just about every dimly-lit alley in the neighbourhood, the residents are taking to the streets themselves.

Their plan has been to light up the streets, throw some parties and stage community events to deny prostitutes the space to operate and claim back territory.

The latest salvo in the 'turf war' came on Friday night, when the Member of Parliament for the area, Fatimah Lateef, lit up a 300m stretch of alleyway between Lorong 34 and 36, where streetwalkers are known to roam.

relatedBrighter backlanes, more CCTVs to help police keep crime in Geylang

read more

Step up safety in Geylang, say MPs, grassroots leaders
Police Tactical Unit officers on patrol at Geylang Road at 2am on March 29, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Geylang Members of Parliament and grassroots leaders want more done to keep the area safe, and say the measures should go beyond ramping up police patrols.

Moulmein-Kallang GRC MP Edwin Tong wants fewer alcohol licences issued, stricter operating hours for businesses near residential estates, and a stop to foreign worker dormitories sprouting near Housing Board flats.

Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC, who has overseen a series of measures such as lighting up dark alleys, believes a comprehensive review is needed.

Geylang – MP expresses frustration, wants “major clean up”

In a rather frustrated posting online, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Marine Parade GRC has lashed out at the authorities for the “very long” wait “for the higher authorities to effect the change” she has been asking for in Geylang. 

“As an action oriented person who expects results,” MP for Geylang Serai, Fatimah Lateef, posted on her Facebook page, “I have indeed waited very long for higher authorities to effect the change I, my grassroots leaders and my residents want to see.”

Geylang, popularly seen as Singapore’s red light district, was cast into the spotlight two weeks ago when Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee described it as having “a hint of lawlessness within the streets of Geylang.” 

read more

When will the government listen?

Fatimah Lateef is one flustered and exasperated politician. The MP for Marine Parade GRC has been crying out loud about the nocturnal activities going on in her Geylang ward since 2012. Nothing much was done.

Then the Police Commissioner went to the Commission of Inquiry on the Little India riot and talked about Geylang as the next tinderbox if nothing was done. Suddenly, Geylang has become the constituency to watch.

But Fatimah’s constituents have made posts regularly in her Facebook.

“I have been observing the prostitutes for the past six months and this time there is a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese girls loitering around after 10 pm. Can you please help?” wrote Francis Chan in October 2011.
read more

MP Fatimah Lateef goes all vigilante on seedy Geylang
MP Fatimah Lateef’s frustration with the authorities shows that she is one of us, after all

Last week, police chief Ng Joo Hee said in the Little India Committee of Inquiry (COI) hearings that there exists a hint of lawlessness in Geylang.

Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef, the MP in charge of Geylang, is not happy with the situation.

In fact, she is so frustrated with the tardiness of the authorities to act that she decided to do what most Singaporeans do nowadays: Complain on Facebook.

read more

Fatimah Lateef & Her Curious Outburst

Geylang Serai MP Fatimah Lateef put out a strange outburst yesterday on her Facebook.

In a lengthy account on her page, she defended her work on the ground to address the “lawlessness” in Geylang that was publicly aired by Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee during the Little India riot COI.

According to her, she had been patrolling the streets with her grassroots, at least twice a week, and had been holding “regular, roving dialogues with different groups in a targeted way, including pub managers”.

Measures taken to maintain law & order in Geylang
A general view of a street in Geylang in Singapore

Authorities remain committed to maintaining law and order in Geylang, and will take additional measures where necessary.

Second Home Affairs Minister S Iswaran gave this assurance on Monday, as he responded to a parliamentary question from the area's Member of Parliament Fatimah Lateef, who wanted an update on the management of disamenities caused by vice activities.

Measures undertaken by the police include increasing manpower. The Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre has about 160 officers - 60 per cent more than staffing in other centres.

read more

Police in control of situation in Geylang, says NPC commanding officer

Sustained enforcement efforts in Geylang have placed a strain on police resources, but the men in blue say they are in control of the crime situation in the area.

This was reinforced by the Commanding Officer of Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) on Thursday.

Superintendent Loh Kah Wai said: "In tandem with the population growth, the crowd at Geylang has got bigger. This presents a lucrative market which attracts naturally more unsavoury characters with criminal intentions."

read more

The trouble with Geylang, and why it’s a “potential powder keg”
Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee said policing Geylang is a challenge as all the indicators for potential trouble are in the area. He also pointed to a hint of “lawlessness” within its streets, calling it a “potential powder keg”.

The crime rate in both Little India and Geylang has dropped steadily over the years. But Geylang’s numbers remain high, with the crimes committed there including robbery, outrage of modesty and murder.

Public order offences like rioting are also higher in Geylang, compared to other areas.

‘Little Chinatown’ Geylang is a potential powder keg

There’s no question that the Lorongs are where resentment of authority is rampant. In 2007, a crowd of 200 gathered around 4 undercover police officers on an illegal gambling raid operation and threw rubbish and beer bottles at them, forcing one officer to draw his weapon on one of the men in the crowd. It had all the makings of a full blown riot, though today we’re unlikely to see the level of violence of the secret society clashes in the 1920s, where the police don’t just get glasses and rocks tossed at them, but BOMBS as well. There’s no evidence that alcohol had anything to do with these events, though some shopkeepers admit that vice is a crowd-puller and good for business.

Geylang may be called ‘Little Chinatown’ today, but according to some sociologists in 2009, Geylang was already the NEW Chinatown when PRCs started flocking to the area to set up shop, while its older sibling with its annual gaudy CNY decorations has morphed into a tourist town, today complete with giant LCD advertising screens and a ‘food street’ that’s clearly designed to draw tourists on a hawker mecca. We’ve already lost our vintage Bugis Street, we don’t want the same fate to fall on ‘Little Chinatown’ now, do we?

The police may think that Geylang, with all its vice and sleaze, is a time bomb waiting to explode. Residents worry about their wives or daughters when they go out at night. But to anyone with a sense of history or adventure, the ‘unsavoury’ nature of Geylang is part of its gritty, trashy charm, a seedy side of Singapore that remains largely unsanitised and brimming with a thrilling sense of ghetto sprawl and chaos, like the Chinese Harlem except that the only protection you need is not a personal weapon, but personal contraception. It has even been called a mini ‘United Nations’ of street-walkers. This is a place you won’t see on our tourist brochures, but any Singaporean will try to tempt a foreigner to have a taste of it. With a nudge and a wink of course.


Geylang is also a red-light district of Singapore. Thousands of Asian prostitutes mostly from other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China and Malaysia work in Geylang, and visitors and locals alike flock to the area each evening and stay till morning.

The district is home to hundreds of brothels. Some are regulated, while others operate behind the scenes illegally.

The houses in Geylang operating in sex practices are easily identifiable; their house numbers are large and bright red. As many as a dozen girls work out of each house, and the operating hours tend to be 14:00-3:00.

Singapore's seedy side

Yet here we are on a Friday night in the suburb of Geylang and the place is pumping. Traffic is at a standstill, a sea of taxis flash red "hired" lights, scooters zip in and out, and pedestrians cut jagged paths through the mess.

There's barely room to walk on the pavement, with the shops' wares spilling out, the plastic tables from restaurants and the sheer volume of people trying to get from one place to another in the muggy evening heat. Sheena doesn't seem fazed, though. "Just up here," she assures me, motioning up the packed street that's lined with karaoke joints and restaurants, footpath bars and cafes.

It seems fitting that Singapore's seediest locale would have some ridiculously good food. There aren't many red-light districts in the world that have more restaurants than sleazy clubs but these guys take their eating seriously.

Head to Geylang for a gay time

Building on its history of prostitution and triads, this red light district has evolved into a mini United Nations of sorts. SEVERAL Singaporean housewives, as strait-laced and as prim-and-proper as they came, surprised me recently when they proposed to organise a bus tour of the city's hot sex-spot.

"We've heard so much about Geylang and we want to see it," said a retired teacher. Would I - being a know-it-all journalist - be the guide? she asked to the applause of all. The tour hasn't taken place yet but given the curiosity of these friends, I'm pretty sure one day it will.

These are half a dozen of the society's most conservative senior citizens, some of them church-going grandmothers. So what propelled them to want to visit the capital of Singapore's sex industry? The place is not only renowned for its women but also for the hawker delicacies that have added up to make it a potential tourist icon.

Go to Geylang for feel of real Chinatown
On the final day, they wanted to eat durians, so I took them to Geylang

After five minutes there, they wanted to know more about the area. I told them Geylang is famous for the food, durians and its red-light district.

Then they said "this is the real Chinatown, and Singapore should rename it New Chinatown".

I looked around me and couldn't help but agree with them.

Good place to work but not to live

Ask Hebei native Albert Li where the real 'tang ren jie' or Chinatown, is in Singapore, and he will tell you confidently that it is in Geylang.

'Among the Chinese nationals here, we have privately discussed this many times,' he said in Mandarin. 'Geylang is more like a 'tang ren jie' than Chinatown. There must be more Chinese nationals living and working here than in Chinatown,' said the 25-year-old.

For four years, Geylang has been both home and workplace for Shandong native Wu Min. He lives in a condo in Lorong 31 with his wife, also a Shandong native. She is a nurse at the Singapore General Hospital. They met in Singapore four years ago through a friend when Mr Wu was studying for a degree at the Singapore Institute of Materials Management.

read more

Geylang descends into 3rd World sleazy gangland hotspot controlled by PRC mobsters - report

Step into some parts of Geylang and you might think that you have just stepped into the set of a gangster movie. Many of its lorongs are a hotbed of vice and crime. Streetwalkers openly parade in tight clothes despite the presence of surveillance cameras.

Nearby, motorcyclists flash their bike lights, a signal that they are interested in buying contraband cigarettes. Other vices that are part of the landscape of Geylang: Sale of illegal drugs such as codeine and sex pills, and gambling dens.

But in recent years, the prostitutes and their pimps have become more brazen. Foreign workers are now acting as lookouts, runners and promoters of the women. And they are willing to resort to violence to escape arrest

Unfair to say foreign workers cause trouble in Geylang

It is unfair to jump to the conclusion that foreign workers cause trouble in Geylang, said migrant rights groups. They also believe an event like last December's Little India riot is less likely to happen in Geylang, as the workers who frequent the area gather in small pockets around the neighbourhood.

In contrast, hundreds congregate in popular spots in Little India such as the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road where the riot took place.

"I think it is a difference in culture. South Asian workers find solidarity in numbers while the Chinese national workers are more independent," said Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) executive director Bernard Menon.

read more

Jalan Suka residents unhappy with sleaze

Jalan Suka is about a five-minute walk to the MRT stations, a 10-minute drive into the city and with good food all day, all night.

But there’s a catch - it’s in Geylang. Until about 10 years ago, streetwalkers limited their trade to Lorongs 18, 16 and 14. That’s a five-minute walk away. Now, they are a bane to residents living in two- and three-storey walk-up apartments on Jalan Suka.

The unhappiness rose to the surface when Mr Adam Goi, a resident, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his Facebook page last week.

THIS is my Geylang

Look beyond the vice and streetwalkers and you will find a food haven bar none. Go beyond the streetwalkers, and Geylang's wonderful side shows up.

People flock to this nearly 2km stretch to eat famous food like fermented tofu, frog’s leg porridge and claypot rice. Eateries here have been featured in the New York Times.

Besides fantastic food, it's quickly turning to a destination for those whose jobs end late. After a late dinner or supper they can opt to have a manicure, have their hair styled or shop for pants, groceries at 1 am.

Geylang - hard to forget, hard to resist
No Name Karaoke keeps trouble out by being vigilant on the customers they allow into their KTV, says owner Ang Chee Boon

I am a Geylang brat. A good part of my childhood was spent running on the streets surrounding Geylang Square, where my family and I used to live in a two-room HDB flat.

It explains why I feel an inextricable link to the place that stretches from Lorong 1 to Lorong 41. I don't remember the 'sin city' label that was tagged to the place.

Instead, my memory is filled with the rustic charm of old buildings, welding factories and streets filled with good food.

'If you have a daughter, you worry, worry, worry'

Engineer John Yeo moved to Geylang as a newly-wed 15 years ago. Now a father of two, the 42-year-old cannot wait to move out.

He and his wife never used to mind walking down streets filled with sex workers, pirated CD sellers and gamblers. As a young couple, they found it all novel and appealing. "I didn't mind it. And my wife's even braver than me," he said.

"When we were younger, sometimes men would stop her to ask, 'How much?' She would scold them!"

Geylang, the final frontier

PROSTITUTES - Many of these women come from China and Vietnam and are said to be here on social visit passes, which means it is illegal for them to work here.

FOOD - Food in Geylang is definitely savoury.

SEX PILLS - Peddlers sell illegal sex pills along the streets.

GAMBLING DENS - Police regularly bust illegal gambling dens that operate within shophouses in Geylang.

Crime 'rife' in Geylang
Geylang is a hot spot of illegal gambling, street cons, contraband cigarette peddling and drug dealing, Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee told the Committee of Inquiry hearings into the Little India riot last Tuesday.

"Today, despite the riot in Little India, I worry more for Geylang than about Serangoon Road," he said. Mr Ng noted the "overt hostility and antagonism towards the police" in Geylang, all of which make the district "a potential powder keg".

"It is common knowledge that the gangsters and the crooks like to congregate in Geylang. So all in all, Geylang presents an ecosystem which is complex, which is tinged with a certain criminal undertone, and this is quite in contrast with Little India, although Little India also has changed," he said.

Vice, Vice paradise
THE 'PROMOTERS' - They haggle over price in front of camera

It did not bother them that the backlane was brightly-lit. They also didn't mind that a surveillance camera was pointed in their direction from about 10m away.

With brazen disregard, the 10 streetwalkers, dressed in tank tops and hot pants, or tight dresses to accentuate their figures, went about their trade.

Near them were three foreign men whose job was to promote their range of sexual services.

Need for tougher action against illegal sex trade

What is baffling is the openness with which human traffickers appear to operate in Singapore when, in many other countries, their activities tend to be much more hidden. It begs the question of why law enforcement has not effectively addressed the problem.

To make matters more complicated, many girls who are tricked or coerced into coming to Singapore for purportedly legitimate jobs have their passports taken away once they cross the border. Later, they may be arrested during police raids, but end up being released within a day or two with a temporary pass that does not allow them to work in Singapore.

Being sent back to the streets — instead of being allowed to return home — without any means to support themselves means they will become victims of other pimps. Their plight can be seen all over Geylang, as they stand openly on the streets soliciting, with pimps who seem to have nothing to fear.

read more

Geylang's changing image sparks property market revival

Analysts say Geylang's changing image has revived interest in the property market over the last few years.

This is bolstered by the fact that private properties there, which are just a stone’s throw from the downtown area, are affordable to those looking to upgrade from a HDB flat, as well as for investors.

Central Imperial in Lorong 14 is one of the newest private residential properties in Geylang. It is among the pockets of small developments sprouting up, signalling a rejuvenated interest in the area.

read more

The savoury side of Geylang

The unsavoury reputation of Geylang did not put restaurateur Sally Packire off. She feels it is a goldmine.

"There is good human traffic and while there are many coffee shops selling Indian fare, we did our homework and found there was no restaurant offering Indian cuisine," says Ms Packire, 41.

So, six months ago, she and a close friend, who wanted to be known only as Mr Guruu, poured in $150,000 to open their second Buhari Restaurant in Geylang, near Lorong 42.

$2.2 billion plan to transform Geylang

By 2034, Geylang will cease to be an area of concern. The Commissioner of Police recently told the Committee of  Inquiry on the Little India riot that he was more worried about Geylang than Little India. His worries were unnecessary.

There are big plans to transform the red-light district into a deluxe high-end neighbourhood, combining the timeless appeal of the surrounding with modern facilities and attractions

From blueprints and documents provided by reliable sources, The Independent Singapore learnt that a multi-ministry was set up five years ago to look  at the feasibility of upgrading Geylang. We also managed to talk to some of the people involved in the project, which is expected to cost a whopping $2.2 billion.

read more

Geylang (Yálóng) 芽笼

Geylang is a neighbourhood in the city-state of Singapore east of the Central Area, Singapore's central business district. It is located to the east of the Singapore River, an area that locals have associated, from the days of Sir Stamford Raffles, as a Malay kampong opposite facing two islands Batin and Rokok (where the former National Stadium used to stand), reclaimed to make space for Singapore's first commercial airport opened in 1937.

The airport control tower has been preserved that served, in its day, as an observation deck and is today used by the People's Association. The location of Old Airport Road bears witness to the fact that Geylang, under the British administration, was thought to be outside the limits of the city proper and, therefore, suitable for the siting of Singapore's first commercial airport.

The hangars for repair for the light aircraft can still be seen today that have been slated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for redevelopment into commercial and shopping precincts linked by the nearby Kallang MRT station.


Once upon a time, Bugis Street was Singapore's premier red light district (and forever immortalized in Peter Bogdanovich's Saint Jack).

But the crown has long since passed to Geylang, an atmospheric quarter on Singapore's east coast that bristles with great period architecture, leggy street walkers and some of the best local food on the island.

On offer is a greedy grab of Peranakan, Indian, Malay and regional Chinese standards including the coconut rice and curry chicken at Bali Nasi Lemak, spicy noodles with roast pork and prawns at Kuching Kolo Mee and the Hakka favourite of rice, vegetables, tofu and peanuts in a tea-based broth at Lei Cha Fan.

Women at Geylang coffeeshop sit on uncles' laps and give them free kisses to get them to buy lottery tickets

A group of women in their twenties and thirties prowl a coffeeshop in Lorong 23 Geylang daily, in search of middle-aged men who will buy lottery tickets from them with a bit of persuasion.

According to Shin Min Daily News, the young women, who are reportedly from Vietnam, bat their eyelid, sit on the uncles' laps and give them free kisses to make them buy.

These uncles, however, do not need much persuasion.

Is it legal to resell lottery tickets?

A group of about 20 Vietnamese women are using their charms to re-sell lottery and 4-D tickets in Geylang, Shin Min Daily News reported.

The women, in their 20s and 30s, flirt with men in a coffee shop in Geylang Lorong 23 and sometimes kiss the men. Some even go as far as sitting on the laps of their customers, who are mostly elderly men, the Chinese daily reported.

The men's hands would stray, but the women did not seem to mind.

Men charmed into buying lottery tickets

A GROUP of about 20 Vietnamese women are using their charms to re-sell lottery and 4-D tickets in Geylang, Shin Min Daily News reported.

The women, in their 20s and 30s, flirt with men in a coffee shop in Geylang Lorong 23 and sometimes kiss the men.

Some even go as far as sitting on the laps of their customers, who are mostly elderly men, the Chinese daily reported.

related: Men charmed into buying lottery tickets

read more

Residents say scantily clad women always return despite vice raids

Residents in Joo Chiat and Geylang are tired of vice-related activities in their neighbourhood.

They said that although the police hit hard and often, the girls keep coming back.

Last Saturday, 38 women were arrested in a raid at two entertainment outlets in Joo Chiat.

And in the last two months alone, at least 85 people were arrested for suspected involvement in vice in Geylang.

Guess what's off the menu?

When civil servant Brian (not his real name) went to a beauty salon recently for a back massage, he was shocked to be offered a "special" -- slang for a sexual service.

The masseuse and the salon boss even pestered him about it, he said. Is sleaze returning to our doorstep, concerned heartlanders ask.

To fight vice in residential estates, one MP suggested locating such services to industrial areas instead.

Coffee, tea or massage?

Welcome to mobile massage, Geylang style. The New Paper learnt of the trend and visited a coffee shop along Geylang Lorong 11 two Mondays ago at about 9pm. We spotted three women, who looked to be in their 30s to 40s, busy kneading tired knots out of their topless male clients.

Fifteen to 30 minutes later, the sessions ended and the women moved on to the next table, looking for new clients. They also appeared organised, spacing themselves about 10 tables apart as they went about their business.

Although the men receiving the massage may welcome the service, some residents in the area are not happy with the public offering. A TNP reader said that such public massages first appeared about three months ago.

A midnight stroll through Geylang can be a surreal experience

Freelancer sex workers, believed to be Thai, standing by outside Westerhout Road

Go after the heavens have opened and the rain-slicked pavements become kaleidoscopes of colour as they reflect the areas' ubiquitous neon. On any given night, the notorious red-light district has more colours on show, giving the area an almost alien aura. The oddities don't stop there.

The always busy Geylang Road is possibly the only place on this island where you can experience bumper-to-bumper traffic at 1am. Perhaps the drivers are distracted by the garish lights, screaming for attention from the sex shops and budget hotels.

"But as my husband said, the best food in Singapore is always located in the weirdest places!"
read more

Neighbours move out, pimps move in

How often have you heard that for property, it's all down to location, location, location? Jalan Suka, by all accounts, is ideally located.

It's about a five-minute walk to the MRT stations, a 10-minute drive into the city and with good food all day, all night.

But there's a catch - it's in Geylang. Until about 10 years ago, streetwalkers limited their trade to Lorongs 18, 16 and 14. That's a five-minute walk away.

read more

Property owners aware of trade-offs living in red-light district

Mr Tan Kok Keong, OrangeTee's head of research and consultancy, said some of the properties within the red-light district are currently going for $750 per sq ft (psf)

Those in the outskirts almost double this price.

"Those nearer City Plaza are currently going at $1,000 psf while across the road in Green Lane, there are some projects going for $1,200 to $1,400 psf," he said.

read more

She's my wife not a prostitute

I'm not a prostitute. That was what she told the tattooed man who approached her at Lorong 23 in Geylang last Saturday.

He had mistaken her for a prostitute and wanted her off "his territory".

"He ran towards me aggressively and looked like he wanted to hit me," said Madam Liu Ya Hui, 50, a Chinese national. Madam Liu had stepped out of a taxi to go to a UOB bank there at around 4pm.

read more

Common to be mistaken for sex worker

She works in Geylang, but it's not what you think.

Ms Amelia Choon, 33, is the operations manager of Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre, at Geylang Lorong 22. Having worked there for a few years, she's used to having men staring at her.

"Usually, these men don't really say anything. They just stare at your body, like they are sizing you up," she said. "It's very creepy."

read more

A melting pot of people seeking love, companionship

Lorong 22 Geylang was a hive of activity yesterday.
There were Indonesian and Filipina maids with their Bangladeshi boyfriends, Chinese nationals and their scantily-dressed female compatriots, and the occasional Myanmar couple.
And yes, there were local couples too.
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120312-333001.html#sthash.HRtJ3tbA.dpufLorong 22 Geylang was a hive of activity yesterday.

Lorong 22 Geylang was a hive of activity yesterday.
There were Indonesian and Filipina maids with their Bangladeshi boyfriends, Chinese nationals and their scantily-dressed female compatriots, and the occasional Myanmar couple.
And yes, there were local couples too.
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120312-333001.html#sthash.HRtJ3tbA.dpuf
Lorong 22 Geylang was a hive of activity yesterday.

There were Indonesian and Filipina maids with their Bangladeshi boyfriends, Chinese nationals and their scantily-dressed female compatriots, and the occasional Myanmar couple. And yes, there were local couples too.

The New Paper spoke to some domestic helpers and foreign workers there on their day off.

read more

Migrant worker couples continue to throng Geylang hotels

It was pouring outside as he dashed into the hotel along Lorong 22 Geylang

"Got room?" he asked the receptionist, who shook his head and replied: "No room. Fully booked." But the receptionist quickly added: "You can come back later. One hour's time."

Minutes later, the Bangladeshi man's Filipina girlfriend arrived at the hotel entrance. They exchanged words and left.

The New Paper team caught up with the couple on their way out. We were there yesterday to observe the hotels' thriving business on Sundays, which is supported largely by migrant worker couples who have found love here.

read more

2 fights in Geylang
On Thursday evening, a man in his 30s (above) walked into the compound of HighPoint Community Services Association at Lorong 23 Geylang

He was followed by three youths not long after. A security guard at the community service compound later saw the man crawling out from behind the building to the open-air carpark, leaving a long trail of blood. The man had suffered multiple slash wounds on his head and body.

Separately, a brawl broke out at a coffee shop at the junction of Guillemard Road and Lorong 12 Geylang on Friday morning. The fight involved two groups of men - nine on one side and five on the other.

One man is in hospital with slash wounds. Nine others are on the run from the police.

Red-light district Geylang

In every city, there is a red-light district. Geylang is a well-known for its prostitution trade. You may be curious, you may hesitate, you may find it familiar but you might not want to try it.

I got in touch with a contact who is counselling these girls in Geylang. Bringing Jaymes with me, I brought him to see the dark side of Singapore. Let me introduce you to this flourishing flesh market in Singapore.

My contact, let's call him Seng, said," In Geylang, there are hundreds of prostitutes, many are young China girls. There are also women from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Russian, Philippines, Cambodia selling their bodies here.

Morning / afternoon can find streetwalker in Geylang or not?
read more

Police chief: Geylang is the most policed area in Singapore

Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee told Bus Riot COI:"There is nowhere in Singapore which is more policed or policed more intensely than the 20-odd lorongs on either side of Geylang Road."

"Most worrying about Geylang is that there is an overt hostility and antagonism towards the police", Ng said.

A police officer was recently beaten up in Geylang during a gambling raid operation and had his life in danger but reinforcement came quickly to stop the capture of the officer or his gun. Separately, a police car in Geylang was also vandalized which had its windscreen smashed. The culprit remains at large.

related: Welcome to Geylang

read more

Geylang police chief says: 'We never lost Geylang'
Superintendent (Supt) Loh Kah Wai (above), the commanding officer of Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), is convinced that the police still have the upper hand in the red-light district

Responding to claims of "lawlessness" in the area, he said on Tuesday: “We have never lost Geylang... Crime statistics will show we are in control.”

But Supt Loh, 37, agreed that more can be done to combat criminal activities in the district.

He said: “We need more (resources) in order to get more results. My job is to bring crime figures down."

Read more here:

Geylang is more of a worry: Police Commissioner
Geylang poses “a clear and present danger to public order”, more so than Little India, said Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee (above)

Speaking as a witness at the Committee of Inquiry hearings into the Little India riot yesterday, Mr Ng presented a report covering several issues that had surfaced in the wake of the riot, such as the actions of the first responders and tactical troops, liquor licensing in Little India and the strategies and challenges faced by the police.

But the topic of Geylang was high on Mr Ng’s agenda, as the area has more indicators for trouble than Little India.

He said that 49 cases of rioting, assault and affray were recorded in Geylang last year, compared to 25 in Little India.

At the Committee of Inquiry into the Little India Riot, Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee said that Singapore should focus more on Geylang rather than Little India for crime prevention

While everyone is worried about Little India at the moment because of the riot which occurred there in December, he pointed out that there is much more lawlessness in Geylang.

He described Geylang as having a "complex and complicated" character with a "definite criminal undertone".

Ng pointed out that there is also a distinct anti-police sentiment in Geylang with vandalism of police vehicles and obstruction of police duties occurring fairly frequently.


read more

Commissioner of Police: “There is a hint of lawlessness in Geylang”
It can be seen that Geylang has a comparable high crime and public offence incidents compared to other areas

As much as Mr Ng admitted that “crimes decreased in Little India faster than the rest of the country,” he does not share the same sentiment for Geylang. Mr Ng says he worries for Geylang as crime remains at a level that is concerning and that there are “disproportionate amount of police resources.”

Although Mr Ng is not satisfied with the situation in both Geylang and Little India, the police force “can do a little more with current resources,” he said. However, he added that although in the long run this would eventually be unsustainable as police efforts in these two areas “stretch resources to near breaking point.” Additionally, there are many crime hotspots such as red-light district areas and nightclubs in Geylang that “attract larger number of locals” and “budget local crooks like to congregate there.”

There have been regular large multi-agency raids in Geylang with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), National Environmental Agency (NEA), Health Science Authority (HSA), Customs and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). There were 22 such joint-operations over the last four years. There are also 24 uniformed officers on full patrol and another 24 in plainclothes doing rounds in bars and clubs. The “hint of lawlessness in Geylang” remains a worry for the police force, making them pay a lot of attention to the area, he said.

read more

1,000 more cops needed to boost force: Police chief

To beef up the anti-riot capability of the police while keeping Singapore safe, Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee wants to recruit 1,000 more officers.

The police chief made this passionate plea at the end of his testimony on Tuesday before the Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the Dec 8 riot.

The extra manpower will let him raise an additional tactical troop specialised in tackling riots and police hot spots, and increase the number of officers who patrol the streets and neighbourhoods. It would also allow the police to train its front-line officers better.


We need another 1,000 police officers?

The Commissioner of Police (CP) Ng Joo Hee made some very interesting comments at the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI), “1,000 more officers are needed to boost the force.” He also touched on the Geylang “powder keg”. There are far too many implications from his two comments. As responsible citizens, we ought to be concerned.

When CP says that we need an extra of 1,000 police officers to boost the police force, I wonder what sort of police officers he is referring to? Definitely not those auxiliary police officers outsourced from desperate cheap labourers from neighboring countries who could be coming here for the better wages and using the law as a pretext to high-handedly tekan (pressurise) the locals. 1,000 new recruits in the Special Ops Command (SOC) or in the Land Divisions or just to man those police posts in HDB estates? What sort of extra 1,000 police officers? All with diplomas or university degrees and wearing the Sgt rank on the first day of police work? Veterans have always opined that ranks have to be earned the hard way and never given freely thus losing their intrinsic value.

I still remember vividly what one Chinese gangster used to tell me years ago. According to him, there are 3 types of police officers in our SPF. The NS senior officers, “study” or “scholar” police officers and the hardened rank and file senior officers. He only feared the last category. He was not afraid of the first two types who, according to him, he could easily put in his pocket! This is uniquely Singapore.

read more

61 foreign nationals arrested for illicit activities in Punggol forest
"The police arrested 61 foreign nationals in the forested areas along Punggol on Friday night for being allegedly involved in illicit activities.

Police said in a statement on Saturday that the suspects, comprising men and women, are "believed to have used the cover of the forest for various illicit activities such as vice and gambling".

In the raid, which involved officers from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division, Criminal Investigation Department and Gurkha Contingent, the foreign nationals were arrested for wilful trespass on state land or offences under the Women's Charter. If found guilty, they can be fined up to $1,000. Full story

61 foreigners arrested in Punggol for illegal gambling & vice activities

50 arrested in Sembawang brothel raid

On Tuesday, police officers raided the brothel in the forested area along Sembawang Drive and arrested about 40 men and 10 women. The women, mostly clad in revealing tops and skimpy shorts, were led away to police cars. Several of the men were topless when arrested.

The ground was littered with tissue paper, water bottles and open condom wrappers. Tarpaulin sheets were hung up to create three small rooms in the makeshift brothel.

Some office workers in the nearby Admirax building, which is facing the forested area, were shocked to hear about the police raid.

Geylang raid: Crowd threw rocks and bottles at cops

THE four policemen went undercover to look for illegal activities in a Geylang backlane.

But the operation quickly turned ugly when they arrested one person at a makeshift gambling stall.

A crowd of about 200 people gathered around the officers and threw whatever they could lay their hands on, such as beer bottles and glasses, rocks and even rubbish.

Woman resists arrest, bites cop

First, she pleaded, then she struggled, finally she bared her fangs and sank her teeth into the hand of a police officer.

This was what happened when a young Vietnamese woman aggressively resisted arrest despite being outnumbered by police officers in Geylang. She was among a group of women, believed to be prostitutes, fleeing from the police at Geylang Lorong 24 and Jalan Suka at around 10am on Sunday.

A witness said the woman bit the left hand of the cop three or four times until blood could be seen.
She was later arrested for voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant.

read more
Joanne Peh gets up close to sex workers

Clutching her handbag to her chest, she was at a loss for words

Sweat trickled down her heavily made-up face as a policewoman ordered her to sit on the ground.
The slim, tan-complexioned woman, who looked to be in her early 30s, was dressed in a tight sleeveless top and a skimpy pair of shorts that barely covered her bottom.

She shot the policewoman an anguished look. However, she had no choice but to obey.

Had she been Singaporean, she might have recognised two familiar faces among a group of about 10 police officers at Lorong 24 Geylang in the early hours of Saturday

read more

Police arrest 43 in Geylang vice syndicate crackdown

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday arrested nine men and 34 women during a crackdown on a vice syndicate operating in Geylang.

Police said in a news release that those arrested were aged between 18 and 65, and they were nabbed at a terrace house in Joo Chiat.

Police seized the syndicate's records, several SIM cards, and about S$50,000 in Singapore and foreign currencies.

read more

46 arrested for illegal employment at Geylang entertainment outlets

A total of 46 people were arrested in a police operation which ended early this morning

In an eight hour operation involving officers from Bedok Police Division and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), enforcement checks were carried out at public entertainment outlets in Geylang.

During the operation, 46 suspects - comprising of 45 female foreigners and one male foreigner - were arrested for unlawful employment offences.

The ages of those arrested ranged between 18 and 30.
read more

50 foreign nationals arrested after 4-day police bust at Geylang and Joo Chiat night spots

A total of 50 persons were arrested in Police Operations targeting four public entertainment outlets from 4 June 2013 to 7 June 2013.

The Operations, led by from Bedok Police Division, carried out enforcement checks at four public entertainment outlets located along Joo Chiat Road and Geylang. A total of 50 persons, comprising of 49 female foreigners and 1 male foreigner aged between 18 and 37, were arrested for unlawful employment offences. Police also issued summons under the Public Entertainment Meeting Act to all the four entertainment outlets.

This is part of ongoing Police enforcement efforts to clamp down on criminal activities at entertainment outlets and serves as a warning that those who conduct such illicit activities will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

read more

143 nabbed in 12-hour op

Police nabbed 143 people suspected of various offences, including vice-related activities, in a series of raids that lasted 12-hours and ended yesterday morning.

The raids were conducted in Geylang and entertainment outlets and back alleys in the Orchard and Bugis areas.

The Geylang raid attracted much attention from shopowners. While residents in the area welcome the police raids, some shopowners said the increased raids have affected their businesses.

read more

9 men arrested over fight in Geylang after woman was allegedly molested
A brawl in Geylang, which involved about 20 people, on Tuesday night (Aug 12) left nine men arrested and at least three injured

According to a report on Lianhe Wanbao via MyPaper, the fight in Jalan Molek started after a foreign worker allegedly molested a woman, thought to be a prostitute. Eyewitnesses said that a drunk worker allegedly touched a streetwalker's chest.

Angered, she fought back and even kicked him, and the two started fighting. A man who was acting as a "lookout" for the girls went to her aid.

The worker then called out to his friends who were nearby for help.

Teen put on probation for helping to run 2 brothels
Photo of the red light district in Geylang

A teenager who helped to run two brothels but was never paid for doing so was placed on probation yesterday.

Jaryl Tan Wencong, 19, committed 11 offences of living off prostitution earnings and helping to manage two operations in Geylang and a flat in District 9.

He admitted two charges: helping to run the brothel in Chateau Eliza in Mount Elizabeth; and meeting a Thai woman at Changi Airport, knowing she was procured for prostitution here.

read more

Two foreigners found dead at Geylang hotel
Police reviewing closed-circuit television footage at the hotel lobby. Photo: Faris Mokhtar

Two foreigners, a man and a woman, were found dead at a Geylang hotel last night.

The police said they received a call at around 7.45pm, requesting assistance at Hotel 81 Palace along Lorong 16 Geylang. Upon arrival, they found a 31-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman motionless in a room at the hotel. TODAY understands both are work-permit holders. The man is believed to be from India and the woman from Indonesia.

It is believed that the woman had visible wounds on her body and there were blood stains in several areas, including the bathroom. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

related: Two found dead in Geylang hotel

read more

Geylang (Yálóng) 芽笼

PROSTITUTES: Many of these women come from China and Vietnam & are said to be here on social visit passes, which means it is illegal for them to work here. While prostitution is not illegal in Singapore, soliciting in public is a crime under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. It is also an offence to have paid sex with anyone under 18 yrs old.

FOOD: Food in Geylang is definitely savoury. Exotic dishes like frog porridge and kung pao-styled frog from Shi Sheng Claypot Frog make it an oasis of genteel activity in Singapore's centre of sin.

SEX PILLS: Peddlers sell illegal sex pills along the streets. These adulterated pills cost between $5 & $80, but the Health Sciences Authority has warned against the use and sale of such drugs. Several people have died from taking such pills.

GAMBLING DENS: Police regularly bust illegal gambling dens that operate within shophouses in Geylang. In July, police arrested 7 people and seized cash amounting to about $490 at a shophouse on Geylang Road.